You’ve got things to do, places to go, and people to see while working on getting your brand up and running or running at a higher level. Unfortunately, the road you’ve been traveling in search of up-to-the-minute answers about the latest marketing trends to get your “travel on” hasn’t led you to the most informative destinations. It’s time to take a detour, get off the crowded internet, and delve into the wonders of content marketing for the travel industry by searching off the beaten track to get the answers you need for successful branding strategies.
What’s New in Travel Marketing and What’s Not
The days of banners and billboards have passed. That’s not to say each didn’t play a role in marketing travel destinations near and far, but today it’s all about platforms and formats to get the “word” out to the consumer. The road to marketing travel trends is taking a few new routes, and one of the most important is understanding that there is no longer just a one-way avenue for consumers to travel.
In the past, content marketing involved a lot of talking while consumers listened. A change has occurred making the trend more about content marketing flipping the switch and turning the red light that supported one-way conversations off and turning the green light on for active two-way conversations with consumers. In other words, content marketers are listening to what potential customers have to say and then putting those requests into action. It’s the perfect example of each side giving and taking so the end result is a more than satisfying travel experience for the consumer and more traffic and brand recognition for the company. It’s a win-win for everyone.
What’s Cool and What’s Hot: Mobile Tech
Attention! Attention everybody! That’s the keyword of the day; attention. With people moving a mile a minute to get the many things in their lives accomplished each day, technology has moved into the passing lane and never looked back.
One example is the capabilities consumers have with their mobile phones. No matter where they’re headed, where they’re at, or what time it is, consumers are tapping into their mobile devices for fast info. Laptops and tablets are right up there for information finding, but phones have made the process Johnny-on-the-spot quick.
For content marketers, the phone is a direct dial-in for consumers to find what they want when they want it. This means providing the means for potential customers to access your company easily. To do this, track where people are going to find information – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter – and make sure your company has a presence the travel audience can access.
Where’s the Strategy in All That?
In today’s fast-paced world, the opportunity to have a personalized experience isn’t always the case. This is true for many industries, including travel. While some consumers may not find a lack of personalized service to be a problem, a large number of potential customers want more than a standard thank you sent via email or text. They prefer individual attention be given to every detail of their travel plan and that includes a personal touch.
Consumers want their travel experience to be all about them and there are better ways to make this happen through personalized and customized care. Doing something as simple as using a person’s name in an email goes a long way versus a standard generic reply. A phone call is even better.
People know the difference between being just another number and being a valued customer and will respond with more business in the future and/or share their fab experience with friends, family, and social media when they’ve been taken care of personally.
People know the difference between being just another number and being a valued customer and will respond with more business in the future and/or share their fab experience with friends, family, and social media when they’ve been taken care of personally. Tweet This!
Another way to capture the consumer’s attention is by creating a customized itinerary to suit the traveler’s needs. This approach includes both custom and personal attention that will make the company stand out as a brand ahead of others still relying on the same old established routine. Again, reaching out to customers with a human touch versus everything being handled by a technology-driven robot paves the way for more consumer interaction. Customized personalization is another trend content marketers should pay attention to.
Travel Content Marketing with Pizzazz – Who Knew?
When a marketing manager is on the lookout for fresh content, securing freelance travel writers with the experience to create a visual oasis for any destination should be at the top of the list. Along with those fancy billboards, boring content has been ditched. Today, marketers need creatives to blend the words to describe the destination in a way that draws the traveler in and keeps them engaged on the company travel site. Telling the reader that the hotel has a coffee pot versus describing luxury spa toiletries can make the difference between a potential staying and booking or finding content that gives them the nitty-gritty of what they can expect.
While well-written content that speaks to the potential customer not only in words, it can also take travelers to another level of interest with visual enhancements. Adding a picture helps the customer envision themselves in that setting, which is the goal for those involved in marketing travel vacations. Humans are visual and the adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words” has never been spoken more loudly than when it’s used to market content. Creative content combined with enticing pictures is a golden tip for content marketers to keep in mind.
Say it Isn’t So
The verbiage used to describe, travel packages, destination locations, points of interest, etc. is an important part of attracting consumers. Dull, thin, uninformative, run-of-the-mill, and the same content on a hundred other sites isn’t going to raise the bar for your website. Another thing content marketers might want to consider avoiding is promising a “unique” experience. This one word is overused and all too often serves as a catchall to describe an exceptional experience.
Although unique may fit if the traveler was the first person flying to the moon – which has already happened – it isn’t unique. As an adjective, unique means whatever is being referred to is one of a kind. For content writers and marketers, it’s best to keep the information real, because that’s what the consumer wants. It goes back to travelers investing in experiences; don’t promise them the moon. Do give them the most helpful and up-to-date information available because that’s an investment in reality.
Are You Experienced?
That’s the question content marketing should also focus on. It is a trend that most likely won’t go to the wayside or run off onto a side road or dead-end street because people traveling in 2018 and onward want experiences in their lives. The material philosophy of, “I must buy every new item or gadget available on the planet” has taken a detour. The new lifestyle philosophy in the driver’s seat is, “I want to invest in experiences” for travel enthusiasts who are looking for a more enriching experience and one that provides memories for their hard-earned dollars.
This means yet another trend has joined the ranks for finding the best avenues for content marketing by focusing on what each traveler wants and/or expects from a travel excursion. Expanding on a traveler’s experiences is the new main thoroughfare that content marketers must strive to navigate to make the customer’s investment in their company worthwhile.
It’s in the Way that You Use It
Visual enhancements to a traveler are like icing the cake three times over. It’s the enticement that sticks to their memory banks; the glue that holds them on the page; the sugar that draws them in.
A well-written piece of content will soar to new heights of excitement when accompanied by visual enhancements. While the creative and informative piece of travel content has been spun and woven into an exciting piece full of tidbits about a destination, when visual media is added, it becomes a virtual gold mine.
Many company websites have a video cam where someone planning a trip can check in on live happenings at the beach, strolling along a downtown street, or watching wildlife at the zoo, but the video cams don’t provide a personalized experience.
Travel marketers can tap into the inquiring minds of potential customers by showing them more of what their destination location has to offer. This means uploading fresh video to their website and their social media page. A video makes it an up-close encounter with actual sights and sounds. It provides a real experience for the traveler and allows them to inject themselves into the environment. This is especially helpful for travelers visiting a location for the first time.
Taking it a step further involves the up and coming trend of using virtual reality videos. Not only is virtual reality an up-close encounter for travelers to the place they plan to travel, it’s also personal. With virtual reality, the traveler is immersed into the heart of a destination where they experience, first hand, the mystery, excitement, beauty, and history of a faraway location.
With virtual reality in the mix, companies using the technology are more than likely to see an upswing in reservations and bookings along with the sharing of virtual reality links on social media. While relatively new to the trending scene, there are companies using this technology to make travel a one-on-one experience.
Take it to the Limit
For content marketers going forward, there are areas to watch, update, and redo. Some of these have been discussed in this article.
- Data quality
- Lead generation
- Sales revenue
- Brand awareness
- User experience
- Website traffic
- SEO practices
To sum it up, make a checklist of these objectives, that will also be challenging, and make the adjustments necessary that are beneficial to your business. The end game to success is implementing trends that will have your company keeping pace with consumer wants and needs while trending on the road to success right alongside your competitors.
Vickie F writes full time creating articles, blogs, product descriptions, SEO content, and copywriting for websites. She covers a wide range of subjects including gardening, pets, food, health, fashion, silk and dried flower crafts, home improvement, home decor, and careers. Her area of expertise is travel writing where Vickie has produced over 2000 pieces of published content for websites such as USA Today, Yahoo Travel, Marriott, Trails, Hipmunk, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and many more.